Wild, wonderful and oddly traditional, the ‘Nutcracker’ again will be out in full force this season, along with delightful alternative holiday dance events — the kind of celebrations the Bay Area does so well. Many of the shows are family-friendly; refreshments are offered at some. In chronological order, here’s the list for 2012:
With five shows each weekend in December, the local contemporary troupe’s fun take on the classic “Nutcracker” — a colorful 50-minute version designed especially for kids — is in its fourth year.
The company that launched the national “Nutcracker” craze in 1944 produces a lavish, world-class production that dazzles year in and out.
ODC/Dance presents its popular dance adaptation of the classic children’s book, using members of the company and ODC/Dance students. A milk-and-cookies party, which requires a separate ticket, follows the Nov. 25 show.
Ayako Takahashi directs the troupe in its 18th annual “Nutcracker,” with professional guest artists. Separate tickets may be purchased for a post-performance tea party.
Terrin Kelly and Alec Lytton are the professional guest artists in this full-length “Nutcracker” produced by the Redwood City troupe.
Led by artistic director Alexi Zubiría, the troupe presents its 36th annual holiday rendition of the “Nutcracker.”
The San Francisco Lesbian-Gay Freedom Band invites children and adults to twirl along to Tchaikovsky; this year’s show has a “Hollywood Holiday” theme. Saturday night’s performance for adults only includes a gala cocktail dance party. Tutus encouraged.
The troupe’s 50th anniversary season features the “Nutcracker” choreographed by Julia Adam, with more than 200 dancers ages 8-18 and guest artists Travis Bradley and Robert Dekkers.
Mark Morris Dance Group returns to the East Bay for its popular 1950s-style “Nutcracker” alternative with Tchaikovsky’s original score.
Smuin’s pop-friendly “The Christmas Ballet” includes new choreography by Amy Siewert, Jane Rehm and Darren Anderson.
Bayer Ballet Academy’s holiday program, inspired by Russian New Year’s Eve, has magical fairyland creatures and animated toys with music by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.
In good hands with artistic director Bruce Steivel, the troupe presents the “Nutcracker,” now in its 42nd year.
A key training ground for local dancers, the youth company performs a full-length “Nutcracker” for the 12th year.
World Dance Fusion presents director Katy Alaniz Rous’ new interpretation of the classic piece; it tells the story of Hanukkah and includes dance forms choreographed to diverse musical themes of the traditional “Nutcracker” second act.
The troupe presents artistic director Graham Lustig’s popular interpretation of the “Nutcracker,” with live music courtesy of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, conducted by Michael Morgan.
Vaganova Academy-trained dancers have performed “The Great Russian Nutcracker” in North America for 20 years. This year’s principals — Olga Kifyak, Ion Kuroshu and Karyna Shatkovskaya — have won awards at major international dance competitions.